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Brahmas – Icerays Will Faceoff At Shoebox

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Josh Martin, Tim Henriksson and Andrew DeCarlo celebrate Martin's goal against the Topeka Pilots. Lone Star will be playing host to the Corpus Christi Icerays this weekend.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas will host the Corpus Christi Icerays for the last time during the regular season this weekend at NYTEX Sports Centre. The meeting will mark games nine and ten in their 12 game season series with the final two contests to be played in Corpus Christi in mid-March.

So far this season the Brahmas are 3-3-1-1 against the Icerays going 2-1-1-0 on the road and 1-2-0-1 at the Shoebox. The play has been tight between these two teams all season with each of the eight games decided by a single goal including one in overtime and one via a shootout.

With recent NCAA D-I commitments and immediate departures by starting netminders Harrison Feeney (11W-10L-2OTL-4SOL) of the Brahmas to the University of North Dakota and Sam Best (13W-9L-0OTL-0SOL) of the Icerays to American International University will put a new twist into the series. Feeney and Best had played seven of the eight games between the two teams.

10/12   Brahmas 3 at Icerays 1

10/12   Brahmas 2 at Icerays 3

11/16   Brahmas 2 at Icerays 3 OT

11/17   Brahmas 2 at Icerays 1

11/23   Icerays 2 at Brahmas 3

11/24   Icerays 3 at Brahmas 2

12/21   Icerays 2 at Brahmas 1

12/22   Icerays 3 at Brahmas 2 SO

Lone Star enters the weekend riding a four game win streak and five game point streak dating back to the last time the Icerays were in town on December 22. The Topeka Pilots were in town last weekend and were sent back to the Kansas Capital with only a single point in the standings. On Friday night Defenseman Blake Evennou (7G-15A) scored on the power play to give the Brahmas a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. Special teams would figure heavily into the outcome on the night as Matt Guerra (9G-18A) scored an unassisted shorthanded goal in the second followed by Evennou’s second power play tally of the contest. The Icerays finally broke through with a power play of their own in the final four minutes of the frame, but Andrew DeCarlo (6G-2A) responded at the 19:28 mark. Topeka would score again late in the third for the 4-2 final. Harrison Feeney made 20 saves on the night to log the win. Saturday night ended up being a bit more tightly contested. Topeka carried a 1-0 lead into the second thanks to a late first period tally. The Brahmas would pull even in the second on a Frank Trazzera (6G-7A) power play goal. Assistant Captain Josh Martin (1G-4A) handed the Brahmas their first lead of the night but it was short lived as the Pilots would tie it up just 2:37 later to force overtime and an eventual shootout. Feeney stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout to go along with his 33 saves through overtime while DeCarlo scored the only goal needed for the game winner. For his efforts Feeney was honored as the NAHL South Division First Star of the Week for his two wins and 53 saves on the weekend.

Corpus Christi was at home last weekend as well with the Shreveport Mudbugs on the schedule. Santeri Hartikainen (14G-19A) scored just past the midway point of the game on Friday for what would eventually be the game winner. Kyle Moore (12G-18A) scored twice and Michal Juscak (1G-1A) as Corpus Christi put three on the board in the first 5:30 of the final frame. Brian George (3W-0L-0OTL-0SOL) made it stand up stopping all 40 shots he faced for his first shutout. There was no scoring in the first period again on Saturday, but Nicholas Seitz (11G-13A) got things going with the only goal of the second. Nikita Krivokrasov’s (4G-6A) third period tally split two Shreveport goals sending the game to overtime. In the extra frame it was Blake Bennett (16G-23A) who would net the game winner with 46 seconds left on the clock. It was Sam Best who picked up the win in net for the Icerays facing 45 shots in the process.

 

Last 5 games

W L OTL SOL Pts
Brahmas 4 0 0 1 9
Icerays 2 3 0 0 4

 

Special Teams

The Brahmas are currently 8th in the league on the power play three spots higher than the last time these teams met. They have converted 29 of 134 opportunities or 21.6%. At home Lone Star remains in the 8th spot with 15 goals on 66 chances or 22.7%. Over the last five games they are six for 21 and 28.6%. They will be skating against an Icerays penalty kill that is has fallen eight spots in the ranking since late December and now sets at 15th overall. Corpus Christi has given up 25 goals on 122 opponent power plays or 79.5%. On the road they have allowed 15 goals on 56 kills and 73.2% which has them at 21st in the league. They are at 57.9% in the last five games allowing eight goals on 19 opponent power plays.

Lone Star is also setting 8th in the NAHL on the penalty kill at 82.7% after killing off 115 of 139 opponent power plays. At home they improve slightly to 83.8% and 7th in the league. The Brahmas have given up 12 goal on 74 kills at NYTEX. Over the past five games they have played pretty much in line with their season numbers at 81.25% killing 13 of 16 times shorthanded. Lone Star will be tested by an Icerays’ power play that is currently 4th in the league. Corpus Christi has scored 39 times on 152 opportunities or 25.7%. On the road they are at 5th even though their percentage jumps to 29.3% on 22 goals in 75 chances. In their last five games they have four goals in 18 man advantages at 22.2%.

In their six previous head-to-head meetings the Brahmas are four for 16 on the power play or 25.0% and have held the Icerays to three for 25 or 12.0%.

 

Goaltending Comparison (Last 5 Games)

W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 4 0 0 1 1 8 1.55 140 0.946
Icerays 2 3 0 0 1 18 3.56 168 0.903

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Blake Evennou 3 2 5
Matt Guerra 2 3 5
Scott Persson 0 5 5
Tim Henriksson 1 3 4
Three Tied at 2 1 3
Icerays G A Pts
Kyle Moore 2 3 5
Nicholas Seitz 2 3 5
Blake Bennett 1 4 5
Nikita Krivokrasov 2 2 4
Santeri Hartikainen 1 3 4

 

Inside the Game

  • Matt Guerra is leading all scorers in the season series to date with 2G-7A for nine points. He is joined by five other skaters who have five or more points in Blake Evennou seven points and Santeri Hartikainen, Blake Bennett, Kyle Moore and Tim Henriksson (1G-9A) with five points each.
  • The Icerays are currently 2nd in the NAHL South and tied for 9th overall while the Brahmas are 3rd in the division and tied for 13th
  • The extremely competitive NAHL South Division is so tightly packed the Brahmas could come out of the weekend series setting anywhere from 2nd to 5th place while the Icerays could potentially tumble to 4th.
  • Blake Bennett is currently 8th in the league in scoring.
  • Blake Bennett is tied for 12th in goals scored with 16 while Santeri Hartikainen is tied for 17th with 14.
  • Blake Bennett is also tied for 14th in assists with 23.
  • Santeri Hartikainen is tied for 5th in power play goals with 8, followed by Nicholas Seitz and Blake Evennou tied for 7th with 7 apiece.
  • Matt Guerra and Santeri Hartikainen are tied for 10th in power play assists with 11 each and Brian Kramer (1G-16A) is tied for 14th with 10.
  • Blake Evennou is 10th in defenseman scoring with 22 points and Anthony Firriolo is tied for 11th with 21.
  • Blake Evennou’s seven goals ties him form 6th in goals scored by a defenseman. All secen of his goals have come on the power play which puts him 2nd in defenseman power play goals.
  • Matt Minerva (4G-3A) is 5th in the league with 111 penalty minutes while Frank Trazzera and Coltan Wilkie (0G-8A) are tied for 15th with 90 each.
  • Brian George has a 1.00 GAA and Seth Eisele (5W-3L-0OTL-0SOL) has a 2.11 GAA. However, neither have played the required minutes to among league leaders.
  • Brian George has a 0.970 SV% while Seth Eisele has a 0.928.
  • Lone Star is 9-5-0-3 at home while Corpus Christi is 9-8-0-0 on the road.
  • The Icerays have the 4th most penalty minutes in the league averaging 21.33 per game. The Brahmas are 11th with an 18.06 minute average. The major difference in the two teams is in Major Penalties and Match Penalties where the Icerays have 12 and 10 more than the Brahmas.
  • Lone Star is on a four game win streak and Corpus Christi comes in on a four game road losing streak.

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